German council says open source OpenOffice led to performance impairments and aggravation, wants to go back to Microsoft Office


A few years ago, before the world became preoccupied with smartphones and tablets, there was an anti-Microsoft movement afoot for especially government organizations to rid themselves of dependence on Microsoft Office and move to free, open source versions like OpenOffice.

It seems like many idealistic dreams reality did not quite meet up with expectations.

The city council in Freiburg, Germany, noted:

"In the specific case of the use of OpenOffice, the hopes and expectations of the year 2007 are not fulfilled,"  adding that continuing use OpenOffice will lead to performance impairments and aggravation and frustration on the part of employees and external parties.

The council had many complains, ranging from seemingly random formatting of imported documents, not being on the same standard as the rest of the world, conversion issues, software which was just not that powerful (especially the spread sheet and presentation app), saying  they estimated that only 80 percent of the word processing could be done using the open source suite.

"With spreadsheets and presentations this percentage is significantly lower," they wrote.

The nail in the coffin was the lack of further development of Oracle OpenOffice.

"The divergence of the development community (LibreOffice on one hand Apache Office on the other) is crippling for the development for OpenOffice," the council wrote, adding that the development of Microsoft Office is far more stable. Looking at the options, a one-product strategy with Microsoft Office 2010 is the only viable one, according to the council.

"Therefore, a new Microsoft Office license is essential for effective operations," they wrote.

In a draft resolution discussing IT problems, Freiburg’s city council said it was in favour of migrating from the out-dated OpenOffice 3.2.1 it is using in combination with Microsoft Office 2000 to Microsoft Office 2010,

The council plans to vote on the draft bill next Tuesday.

Office is one of the pillars of Microsoft, earning more than the Windows division did the last few quarters. The software is generally pretty highly priced, but it seems, in the end, you get what you pay for.

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  • Bugbog


  • the person

    sure they can take care of that for you, just get the turds at the EU to BTFO on antitrust BS.

  • TCBK

    The same thing goes for Google docs. There are lots of issues around formatting and power feature with that also. Office is the gold standard. Anything else is just a CHEAP imitation.

  • N1NJ4K1LL3R

    I use to be an Open Office fanboi then I actually tried Microsoft Office… I now own six licenses… nuff said.

  • José Villaró


  • Kitab

    Dear councilmen, sue them:):)

  • Gavin Tom

    Yeah I never strayed from office, in the legal field I don’t even understand how people do work without it. Makes life so easy.

  • darthtigris

    It’s the best. By far. I couldn’t live without it.

  • GG002

    NO SHIT.

    • Jason Choi

      That is what I said exactly. All the open source programs are free for a reason, you get what you pay for, not always but this time it is the case.

  • Tips_y

    After I retired, I could only afford OpenOffice for the two new computers in the house. But after about 10 months of use, I couldn’t stand it anymore and just had to buy MS Office 2010 for one of the computers. What a relief to be able to use MS Office again! It’s so much better!

  • Mark Matheson

    MS Office became the standard for good reason. Before it existed, we put up with WordPerfect, Supercalc, Lotus Freelance, Primavera P3 and DataEase – Their development was so stale that it was really difficult to see the improvements/changes between versions, it was way too late by the time the displayed true-type fonts and if you didn’t use HP Laserjets, good luck with the printouts!

    Office came along and it was bliss, the blue background of WordPerfect was replace with paperwhite of Word, Black and blue SuperCalc grids superceded by white/grey of Excel, Freelance was very Similar to Powerpoint but why buy something else when you get a presentation package in the suite – Project made the convoluted methods in P3 look stupid and Access was just plain easy to use in comparisson to most desktop database offerings.

    And MS Mail, what a dream in comparisson to the various other offerings!

    The only thing Office couldn’t touch was Visio, so MS bought them.

    Bitch about Office all you want but it was a long hard battle to convince companies to change from the old ways, better software wasn’t enough. The product had to be so good that the pain of migrating all the data to the Office format would be a good idea.
    The freebies don’t come close, don’t believe otherwise.

    • VHMP01

      I used Quattro Pro and it was a better spreadsheet than Lotus 123 and Excel by a long margin, problem was that it was not a complete Suite, by the time WordPerfect bought them, Excel and office had all those features and functions and even more… So the story went!

  • wooncherk

    Once in a while people will try to convince you that Office is dying soon… Except that it never happened. :)

  • GuenterMuc

    It should be noted that the reason why Freiburg failed to migrate to OpenOffice is a lack
    of knowledge and experience within their IT staff. Other cities, including
    Munich (after all the third largest city in Germany), have been very successful
    in saying Microsoft farewell.

    • Tumultus

      What does the knowledge and experience of their IT staff have to do with formatting issues between different kind of office applications? (E.g. OpenOffice Word created document worked on in Google Docs and afterwards in MS Office Word.) It is a well known fact that OpenOffice has far more limitations than MS Office, starting from functionality to deployment in a large network. And I haven’t even started yet with missing support for macros and plug-ins!

      most home users don’t need all the functionality of a top notch Office Suite; Google Docs and even OpenOffice may do just fine for them.